Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Indie god of apathy Stephen Malkmus' next album…
Stephen Malkmus Considered LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy to Produce 'Mirror Traffic' Before Beck Signed On
- Posted on Oct 17th 2011 1:00PM by Melody Lau
"We never asked him but we've got mutual friends in New York so I thought about him," Malkmus tells Spinner. "I wasn't really aware of how big and successful he was, though. I like them and I think they're good but I didn't know they were this iconic band of the 2010s -- I still would've done it with him but, at that point, he was probably too busy."
Malkmus is more than pleased with Beck's work on the record, but he believes Murphy would have done the disc justice, too, since the pair of music mavens both possess the qualities he looks for in a producer.
"James seems to like all kinds of different music and he's a gearhead," Malkmus says. "I want somebody who's into gear and sound, and is a geek, and it seems like he is when I've talked to him about keyboards and recording stuff."
"He bleeds music," he adds. "That's the kind of people you want, not just somebody who's into music because it's fashionable or because they can get a bigger car; those people could be 86 percent into music but you want 186 percent -- he seems like that kind of guy."
But before Malkmus even had the chance to approach Murphy, Beck offered up his services -- an opportunity that was impossible to turn down.
"He's a workaholic, and somebody like that is good for producing," says Malkmus. "For somebody who makes music that jumps around, genre-wise, he remarkably has a lack of ADD. If it hadn't turned out well after the five/six days in the studio, we would've stopped. But it turned out well."
Malkmus was so happy with the collaboration in fact that he says he'd love to work with Beck again -- on a Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks record, of course (don't expect his former band, Pavement, to pull a Guided by Voices any time soon).
"There's nothing to be gained from that, there's no vibe for a new album and you've got to have a vibe," says Malkmus of Pavement heading back to the studio on the heels of their big reunion tour. "Guided by Voices must have a feeling, like they have something that's going to come alive in a room; I just don't think that would happen with Pavement."
"The reunion was totally rad and we had so much fun at those shows," he adds. "But to make one of those reunion albums is not my style."
Besides, Malkmus is busy pumping out his own music in his adopted hometown of Berlin, where he moved "for a life change" -- though he's yet to fully immerse himself in the local scene.
"If I should happen to find a studio or people to work with there, that would definitely be cool," he says. "But as it stands, I'm pretty much working in my house and it could be anywhere; I could be in Antarctica, I could be in Guantanamo Bay."